EU-SA FTA: The possible effects on Southern African Agriculture

"In a World that seems to be moving steadily towards the dismantling of tariffs and towards trade relations as envisaged by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), tariff rationalisations are still not universally accepted as the only way to economic prosperity. Especially for developing countries, it remains an issue of debate as to whether or not protection is still needed from the advanced economies. South Africa is currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). Progress has, however, been painstakingly slow.The importance of the trade agreement can not be overstressed: the EU is our biggest trading partner and any deal with the EU will have a definite impact on trade relations. This Update examines the negotiations surrounding the FTA with Europe. Are the agricultural exclusions such a threat to South African producers, or are there other reasons behind the delays in progress?"